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Mom and Pop Seafood Shack Tour

akma Jul 23, 2007 04:31 PM

My boyfriend and I recently did a tour of area mom and pop ice cream stands and enjoyed the day so much that we are hoping to do the same with seafood (typical New England stuff - fried clams, lobster rolls etc.). We already have The Clam Box on our list but are stuck looking for another two or three. Any suggestions? We are willing to drive out of Boston as far as Ipswich to the North and Quincy to the South (we are starting from my place in the North End) but any place that is locally owned, is more of a stand than a restaurant, and is worth going would make our list.

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  1. c
    chuck s RE: akma Jul 23, 2007 07:24 PM

    Assuming that you are talking about the Clam Box in Ipswich, travel down to Essex, the next town on Route 133 and stop at Farnham's then Essex Seafood. Both are what you are looking for.

    15 Replies
    1. re: chuck s
      Joanie RE: chuck s Jul 24, 2007 05:37 AM

      And the Clam Box in Quincy along with Tony's both on Wollaston Beach are pretty good. I suppose you'd have to add Kelly's on Revere Beach into the mix.

      1. re: Joanie
        Elyssa RE: Joanie Jul 24, 2007 07:46 AM

        I was wondering if Kelly's is not mom and pop enough for you since its now a chain. But the food is still excellent...especially the lobster roll and if you are coming from the North End up the North Shore its right on your way.

        Being from Swampscott I originally I'm partial to The Barnacle in Marblehead. It gets mixed reviews on this site (I think because there is such little seating outside) but the food is quite good.

        1. re: Elyssa
          hiddenboston RE: Elyssa Jul 24, 2007 07:48 AM

          I was going to mention the Barnacle too, but it's more of a restaurant than a seafood shack/stand, which the OP was more interested in. Definitely worth going to on a warm summer night, though, especially for the views!

          1. re: Elyssa
            chrisinroch RE: Elyssa Jul 26, 2007 05:55 AM

            where is it located exactly?

            1. re: chrisinroch
              hiddenboston RE: chrisinroch Jul 26, 2007 05:59 AM

              It's at 141 Front Street in the old section of Marblehead, within sight of Fort Sewall. I'm on an old computer right now, so I can't get the "link to a place" to work here, but maybe someone else can help out so you can see where it is on a map.

              1. re: chrisinroch
                Harp00n RE: chrisinroch Jul 26, 2007 09:16 PM

                Here it is but I wouldn't bother schlepping all the way to Marblehead for this mediocrity.

                The Barnacle
                141 Front St, Marblehead, MA 01945

                1. re: Harp00n
                  9lives RE: Harp00n Jul 27, 2007 05:40 AM

                  I consider the Barnacle another place where the view far outweighs the food. That said, it's a great spot for a bowl of chowder and a beer...not a "seafood shack"

                  In the "shack category," Lime Rickey's (now run by Red Rock Bistro people ) fka Flynnie's on the Beach isn't bad. great spot on Devereaux Beach. I had a seafood combo plate. Clams were ok but the fried haddock was really very good.

                  Better fried clams at Maddie's..and Ms 9's baked haddock was very good. Not really known for it's food, gotta love a place that gets shut down from time to time for "overserving" their customers..:)

                  I wouldn't shlep up to Marblehead for any of the food that I've found so far; but it is a pretty New England town with a great history..and Old Town is very pretty.

                  Here's a good spot to pick up some local lobsters..


                  1. re: 9lives
                    ScubaSteve RE: 9lives Jul 27, 2007 06:50 AM

                    in yesterday's Salem News Maddie's got handed another 5day suspension for over-serving. it even mentioned that one of their bartenders was found drunk, asleep in some neighbor's flowerbed.

                    call ahead.

                    1. re: ScubaSteve
                      hiddenboston RE: ScubaSteve Jul 27, 2007 07:09 AM

                      I can recall a few wild and crazy happenings at Maddie's Sail Loft over the years (like a former co-worker of mine who fell down the outdoor sprial staircase from the top floor, landing in the middle of the street, yet somehow completely unhurt--yes, alcohol was involved). In retrospect, though, a lot of it was just kinda pathetic.

                      Flowerbed, huh? I guess the legend of Maddie's continues....

                      1. re: ScubaSteve
                        9lives RE: ScubaSteve Jul 27, 2007 10:14 AM

                        Closed July 26-30


                        1. re: 9lives
                          Elyssa RE: 9lives Aug 2, 2007 11:04 AM

                          Great pics 9lives. I'm originally from Swampscott so I loved seeing these.

                          Out of curiosity, in your pics...where is that wonderful looking hash breakfast from?

                          1. re: Elyssa
                            9lives RE: Elyssa Aug 2, 2007 11:18 AM

                            The hash was from the Driftwood Restaurant..great breakfast and lunch place near the town pier..across from the Landing..caution..long lines on the weekends.

                        2. re: ScubaSteve
                          Diski RE: ScubaSteve Aug 2, 2007 07:30 AM

                          actually it was a patron... (i live in town)
                          that bar will never change.,.. but the clams at the three cod on pleasant street in marblehead are good

                          1. re: ScubaSteve
                            Elyssa RE: ScubaSteve Aug 2, 2007 11:00 AM

                            Does this surprise you at all lol??

                    2. re: Elyssa
                      twentyoystahs RE: Elyssa Jul 26, 2007 07:21 AM

                      Actually, the reason I have given the Barnacle "mixed reviews" is the few times I have been there, food has been mediocre. Once I ate inside in the dining area, right by the windows overlooking the ocean. Great view except for the dead flies all lining the windowsill. Not exactly appetizing. I think the best bet here is drinks at the bar, maybe a cup of chowder or an app...or even better, a table outside. No question this place has the perfect location....if they only had the food to match.

                2. hiddenboston RE: akma Jul 24, 2007 07:21 AM

                  If you're willing to go a little further south from Quincy, the Hingham Lobster Pound is an excellent option. It's about 10-15 minutes south of Quincy on route 3A.

                  1. j
                    JFC RE: akma Jul 24, 2007 01:37 PM

                    You might want to try Belle Isle Seafood, on route 145 just over the town line in Winthrop. (It's a 10 minute detour off 1A north.) The lobster roll is fabulous, and I am a big fan of the onion rings and lobster pie. Clams are tasty as well. Check out this recent post:

                    1. a
                      akma RE: akma Jul 26, 2007 05:40 AM

                      I was thinking about the Clam Box in Ipswich but the one in Quincy might worth checking out. Thanks for the great ideas. Our next food tour is shaping up to be a fun day!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: akma
                        hiddenboston RE: akma Jul 26, 2007 05:53 AM

                        Today would be a great day to hit the Clam Box in Quincy. Wally Beach isn't such a bad place to go anymore--it has been cleaned up for the most part, and the views are great along the entire stretch.

                        1. re: hiddenboston
                          vermontpoet RE: hiddenboston Jul 26, 2007 06:00 AM

                          Pat and Arthur's in Marshfield ...worth a trip to the South Shore....try the clam roll....mmmmm...most delicious clams I ever had.

                          If you really want to make an adventure of it............try Sayles on Nantucket...as I remember it's more of a takeout place.......but ohhhhhhhh the quality and freshness is amazing!

                          1. re: hiddenboston
                            Science Chick RE: hiddenboston Jul 26, 2007 09:57 AM

                            If you are going to go to Wollaston, I would hit Tony's over the Clam Box..just more consisent/less greasy in my experience.

                          2. re: akma
                            mwk RE: akma Jul 26, 2007 06:51 AM

                            Personally, I much prefer Tony's over the Clam Box. Their clam fritters are tastier, less greasy, and the fried clam platter seems to be a bit better as well.

                            But, the Clam Box has it's supporters too...so I guess I'm saying you should try both :)

                            1. re: mwk
                              hiddenboston RE: mwk Jul 26, 2007 06:53 AM

                              I like Tony's better too, but on a day like this, you can't go wrong with either (or both!).

                              1. re: mwk
                                BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: mwk Jul 26, 2007 11:30 PM

                                Flip a coin. Tony's is fine, the Quincy Clam Box is fine.

                            2. g
                              Guinness02122 RE: akma Aug 1, 2007 03:47 PM

                              Tony's is better than the Original Clam Box by far, I believe. However, by all accounts, the Ipswich Clam Box blows Tony's away. The problem with all these places is that they're only open for part of the year. Also, I loved the fried clams at the Hingham Lobster Pound.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Guinness02122
                                Harp00n RE: Guinness02122 Aug 1, 2007 03:56 PM

                                If you've got a mid-winter Jones you can always go to Woodman's, or better still, The Village Restaurant in Essex. It's not a clam shack but belly full of full belly clams doesn't care.


                              2. l
                                larrydoby RE: akma Aug 2, 2007 01:11 PM

                                Check out Yankee Lobster Company on Northern Ave. People get the wrong idea because of the name but they sell fried clams, scallops etc.

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